Home Modifications

Home modifications can be as simple as adding a grab bar in the bathroom or as extensive as replacing a stairway with a ramp. Even small changes can make it easier and safer to carry out everyday activities such as cooking, bathing, and moving around the house. Most people, including older adults, don’t think about making changes to their home until an accident occurs or they can no longer perform basic tasks. With a little foresight, homeowners can make necessary changes before those changes become urgent. Early action can help people of all ages with physical limitations enjoy an independent lifestyle without the turmoil of an unexpected transition. Home modifications may also increase a home’s value as more people look for homes that are accessible.

The Benefits of Home Modifications

Home modifications adapt a living space so that the occupants can live safely and perform tasks better, despite their physical limitations. When planned and carried out properly, home modifications can meet the particular needs of the occupants so that they can continue to do what is necessary to care for themselves, while safely navigating their home.

Many home modifications are inexpensive. Typical low-cost modifications include replacing cabinet knobs with pulls, installing grab bars in bathrooms, adding night-lights, increasing bulb wattage, and getting rubber grips for faucets. Some modifications are even free, like removing throw rugs that pose a slip hazard or regulating water temperature to avoid scalding. Other modifications can be more costly, such as installing an elevator. Fortunately, there are options to help cover the cost of home modifications.

Loans

A second mortgage or home equity line of credit could be used to pay for modifications or repairs.

Funds from Title III and Title V of the Older Americans Act

These funds are distributed to local Agencies on Aging (AAA). To find an AAA, visit the Eldercare Locator at www.eldercare.gov

Tax Deductions

Some home modifications may be tax deductible as medical expenses if their purpose is medical care for you, a spouse, or dependents. For more information, go to: www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/deducting-medical-home-improvements.html

Rebuilding Together

This national nonprofit can provide some seniors with assistance for home modifications. Visit their website at www.rebuildingtogether.org to learn more.

Community Development Block Grants

These funds are available through cities or towns, and usually go towards housing rehabilitation in specific neighborhoods

Change is never easy. But with the right solution and an effective plan for implementing it, Adaptive Living Designs can help you minimize the impact change has on your life and maximize the positive effect it has on the way you live.